5 drama activities to keep the kids entertained at home
Schools are shut, after-school clubs are closed and currently, there's no set dates for when theatres are going to reopen. With families socially distancing and self-isolating, the coming days and weeks will see parents and children spending even more time together. If you're worried your young ones are going to exhaust playing with their toys, or you're looking for new drama activities to work on with children, here's five ways you can incorporate drama skills into daily activities all around the house.
Encourage your kids to share how they’re feeling
These days, digital news sources are available to readers at the touch of a button. While it’s good to stay up-to-date with what’s going on in the world whenever you want, children may be feeling overwhelmed at how much information they're being told. If you’re looking for a way to get your children to share how they're feeling in a relaxed way, why not play a 'monologue hot spot' game?
In order to play, you'll just need a chair and yourselves. Put the chair in the middle of a room and invite your child to tell a story about their day. If you're looking to add more, write a list of words that each person needs to include or prompters that can help start conversations, or bonus points for discussing their feelings. Playing this game will mean you're all sharing how you're feeling and doing your best to discuss potentially tough topics in a lighthearted, fun manner.
Transport them to a new world
Wish you could venture outside even though you're staying indoors? Imagine you're in a new world every day and create a soundscape, meaning you can visit new places without even having to leave the house. To make a soundscape, decide where you’ll want to visit; the forest, the seaside or even the theatre are just a few excellent soundscape ideas. One person will need to play the narrator at the start, setting the scene for everyone else, then they'll introduce the first sound. Typically, the first sound is a base that other sounds can be added on top of. One by one, close your eyes and add new sounds to the soundscape, and see just how real you can make the soundscape become.
If you’re looking for additional ways to build on a soundscape, why not introduce musical terminology to your soundscape? Crescendo up to the big, crashing moments and diminuendo down to silence.
Hold a theatre fashion show
Sorting out your wardrobe in the next few days? Why not make a theatre fashion show out of it! Introduce your younger children to the outfits worn by characters in West End shows, including Annie’s red dress in Annie, Dorothy’s sparkling red shoes in The Wizard of Oz or Evan Hansen’s blue stripy shirt in Dear Evan Hansen.
Go one step further and style your children’s hair like characters in shows, including the 1920s looks in The Great Gatsby and the 1960s updos in Hairspray. Once you’ve put all the outfits together, invite the rest of the house to watch the fashion show. Turn on the lights, turn up the music and put on a fashion show to remember in the home.
Make an imaginary story
If there’s at least three of you in the house, this is a perfect way to spend time together. Get away from the news and make an imaginary story, but you’ll only be able to reveal the full story once you’ve written it. To do this, you’ll need to get a piece of paper and fold it into as many equal sections as you wish. The first person then writes a sentence of a story, folding up the sentence once they’re done to pass it on to the next person. After this, the second person writes a sentence, blissfully unaware of what the previous sentence says. Keep passing the paper to each other and folding each section once it’s done.
Finished your story. Do a grand reveal of the masterpiece you’ve just created. William Shakespeare wrote King Lear while in quarantine, but will you be the next writer to follow in Shakespeare’s footsteps?
Make them the star of the show
Invite your family to the front row of a one-night-only performance and put on a puppet show. They've been a traditional British beach staple for centuries, with Punch and Judy performed on beachfronts for over three hundred years. Now’s your chance to bring the traditional theatre style to your house, as you put on a sock puppet show.
To get started, you’ll want to find a few pairs of long socks that you’re willing to decorate as the characters that you want to feature in the show. Then, get crafting as you wish and let your imagination run wild. Once you've got your characters ready, it's time to get rehearsing! For an excellent puppet show, we recommend incorporating silly scenes and a few songs from musicals that you'll want your characters to sing. Get rehearsing together before curtain up, and if something doesn't go quite right, then just keep going.
By putting on a puppet show, you're combining arts and crafts, reading and writing and confidence building all in one, so it's a no-brainer activity to do when you're in the house.
Other games you can play with your little ones
Got a few minutes to spare? Young kids will love these theatre games. Make it even more dramatic by adding a competitive element to them and see who'll be the winner at the end of the week.
- Enjoy a nighttime story with a twist, as country songstress Dolly Parton reads a range of imaginative children's novels in her new video series. Titled "Goodnight with Dolly", the books are selected based on their appropriate content, with the series kicking off with "The Little Engine That Could".
- In partnership with Macmillan and Scholastic, children's author Julia Donaldson will present a weekly broadcast of her poems, books and songs. The mastermind behind stories such as The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom, it's sure to be an exciting event in any child's week.
- Count to 20: Between you and your group, see if you count to 20. But there's one catch, none of you can say the same number at the same time. If two or more of you say a number at the same time, you have to go back to one.
- Speaking objects: Select objects for each other to personify inanimate objects. How is your television feeling? What would the chairs say to the table?
- Two truths, one lie: Say three sentences about yourself, but one of them is a lie. See if your family be able to work out whether you're lying or telling the truth.
- Sleeping lions: Looking for peace and quiet? Lead a game of sleeping lions. The winner's decided by who can stay quiet for the longest... Bliss.